Fuel Queue Trivia               <--Prev : Next-->

My friend Tracey has a superb Fuel Queue Tan. I think Something strange happened to her hair too in a Fuel Queue but at least she did not get Fuel Queue Pneumonia like my friend Nici. Geography teachers in Zimbabwe should take their students to visit fuel queues as an exercise in demographics. I mean every Fuel Queue has a social tale to tell.

Take the Fourth and Sixth Avenue queues in Bulawayo, predominately taxis and Commuter Omnibuses, very few Pajeros and Mercs here. Huge great buses vie with tatty taxies for road space sometimes blocking off the whole road in their Ferocious Fuel Frenzy.

The Leopold Takawira Ave and Samuel Parienyatwa queue is not for the faint hearted. One often finds the Mars ambulance, the riot squad and the Joburg cross border taxi gangs here, all doing battle, real Gauteng style.

Then one must take a look at the Bradfield queues, well behaved, patient folk, they have their books, their knitting, their thermos flasks of tea and coffee. Nice people to Queue with usually.

The Trade Fair queue is usually orderly, they have a lot of space and those hard working ZITF workers can look out of their windows, see the queue is moving and hurry across to the vehicles before the ET fraternity hear that the garage is serving.

The Hillside/ Matopos Road / Cecil Avenue queues are usually chaotic cos the queues come right round and bite their own tails, and there are queues going every which way which is most confusing, but one can often find a lot of camaraderie here. The good thing is that the loos at the Spar are fairly presentable so one can enjoy ones book and ones cold drink instead of squirming uncomfortably for hour upon hour. (At least one can sit on it which usually makes life a little more bearable !!)

They tell me that the Leeside Queue is rather fun, those Matsheumhlope folk are made of stern stuff and they have got it taped I believe, you can queue swop for bread, milk, fuel and margarine at the same time, there is not so much urban pressure at these suburban garages.

But the Burnside queue is certainly the most fun I gather. No suffering in stony silence on Arnold Way, out come the brollies, the braais and the beer, out come the ghetto blasters, the deck chairs and the folding tables. Its party time in Burnside Fuel Queues, you cannot get a Burnsider down for anything !!

Queuing in the heat has been ghastly to say the least, one dear lady actually died I believe in Avondale West in a Fuel Queue, the Harare queues are much worse than ours here in sleepy old Bulawayo I take it.

Queueing in the rain had its moments too this last weekend, tempers were frayed, sox were soggy and car windows and the occupants were steamy !!

We all have our Fuel Queue Story. Mine is rather embarrassing I fear.

The young man in front of me removed his shirt, flexed his pecs and proceeded to tan in the back of his bakkie. Now, being matronly and rather staid, I hasten to add, I am not in the habit of perving at young men's bods but I was BORED>>>>>>

So I sent an SMS off to my youngest giving her the low down on his rather nice torso, back came an SMS requesting more anatomical detail. So I sent another SMS saying (jokingly of course) "He's rather nice, Dad's in Harare so I think I'll bring him home for supper"....Well, as luck would have it, same SMS message went, by accident, straight to Dad's phone, so there was a lot of explaining to do......

Most folk have awful tales of whole days in a queue, whole NIGHTS in a queue, five days in a queue was the worst I heard of, and this by young Michael who had lost his front teeth the day before, so his five day stint in the Fuel Queue was accompanied by gallons of soup and a straw, brought daily by his dear mother !!

  1. There are of course a few golden rules for Fuel Queuers.

  2. Don't' tangle with the taxi drivers. They need the income and think that the rest of the world doesn't count.

  3. Don't take a thermos unless you know there is a clean loo nearby or unless you are in the same queue as my friend Lyn who has a porta-potty in her combi.

  4. You only need to take one book cos once that is finished you can usually swop with the fellow behind you.

  5. Don't queue for two litres "just in case" cos this compounds the situation.

  6. Don't sit in stony long suffering silence, get out of the car and socialise. There are some wonderful people out there and one can make firm, lasting friendships in a fuel queue.

  7. Make friends with the garage owner who might be kind enough to phone you when he is expecting a delivery.

  8. Take security precautions and also take something to give you shade.

  9. Think of the bright side, at least you are sitting down !!

  10. DO something with your time, learn Ndebele, (at least a few swearwords that you can mutter under your breath at the taxi drivers). Write those letters you need to write.

  11. Be kind to the petrol attendants !! Imagine yourself in their shoes!!